Barcelona are ‘closing in on a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea star N’Golo Kante’ with the Frenchman’s deal at Stamford Bridge up at the end of the season and Xavi ‘keen to shore up his midfield’
- N’Golo Kante’s contract at Stamford Bridge will expire at the end of the season
- The French midfielder has recently undergone an operation on his hamstring
- A free transfer over summer is an ideal situation for cash-strapped Barcelona
N’Golo Kante is reportedly close to agreeing a pre-contract deal with Barcelona as soon as January, as Xavi looks to sign the Frenchman to bolster his midfield next season.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, the Chelsea midfielder is nearing an agreement with the Catalan giants, with his current contract at Stamford Bridge set to expire at the end of the current season.
Kante’s latest of a string of injuries kept him out of the World Cup, but that has not stopped him from being linked with Barca and travelling with the Blues on their warm weather training camp in Abu Dhabi.
N’Golo Kante is reportedly close to an end of contract agreement with LaLiga side Barcelona
With just over six months left on his deal Kante is thought to be keen to resolve his future as soon as possible, and as such will want to come to an agreement with the Blaugrana in January.
Chelsea are reportedly tabling a two-year extension at Stamford Bridge, although he is looking for a third year which is not forthcoming.
Talks with the Catalan giants have progressed well, according to Sport, with director of football Mateu Alemany handling discussions directly with the 31-year-old.
And a deal would make sense from Barca’s point of view. No fee would be required given that the player is out of contract in summer, and he would provide perfect support to a midfield in transition.
Kante has struggled with injuries over the last 18 months playing just twice so far in 2022-23
The future may appear bright with the likes of Pedri and Gavi sure to lead the side for the foreseeable future, but Frenkie de Jong’s future is still uncertain, Sergio Busquets is surely close to retirement and Franck Kessie has not had the impact Xavi would have hoped for.
Kante is not the only option for Xavi, though, with Barca also monitoring the situations with Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Kante’s team-mate Jorginho, with both also free agents this summer.
The 2018 World Cup winning midfielder is however thought to be more desirable given his natural ability shielding the defence, rather than as a play-maker in the middle of the park.
The Blaugrana are also considering Wolves Ruben Neves and Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, though both would require transfer fees with the latter’s release clause around £52.4million.
Barcelona are thought to be keen on bringing in Kante to shore up their midfield next season
Although he is arguably one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation, Kante has struggled with injuries over the last 18 months, and has only taken to the field twice so far this season for Chelsea.
He is currently out with a hamstring injury, although he has undergone an operation that will likely keep him on the sidelines for around three months.
Chelsea have also been assessing their options, with reports linking them to Ecuador’s Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, who would make an almost perfect replacement for Kante.
Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, 21, impressed with Ecuador during the recent Qatar World Cup
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